Do you think, when asked "How are you?", we respond with "fine" because we are scared to learn that nobody cares about what is going on? Do you believe people don’t have compassion? Is it because we dont have any compassion or love for ourselves? Or is it that we all are actually "Fine"
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I think the question has become a form of a greeting. Like when someone says whats up, or hello.
think about it, when you see someone who is visibily upset you might ask them how they are doing because you are concerned about them
But in the case you saw some one you and greeted them by saying how are you, and they went into a long winded response about how they were feeling. would you be a little taken aback by it?
maybe its just me -.- lol
Well excluding close friends and family, sometimes people tend to ask you “how are you” out of courtesy and not because they are actually concerned about you, you know.
Suppose you re having a bad day and your close friend asks “how are you today” you will obviously tell him/her that you re not fine and that you re having a bad day but if its someone else (like a not-so-close friend you run in to on the road) you wouldn’t because he/she would not be expecting a “oh my god i m having the worst dayyyyy helppp meeee bla bla bla” and start a deep conversation right then and there and plus you would not be willing to put it out there aswel, you know.
I realized this a couple of years ago and then vowed to always do two things:
1) if someone asks me how I’m doing, regardless of closeness, always think about it for however much time and answer completely honestly. The fact of the matter is “fine” just doesn’t make for good conversation, an more often than not you may be surprised who is actually curious about your life.
2) if I ask someone that question, and they give a non-committal answer, always clarify that I’m actually asking and would really want to know. Either I’ll get the same answer, or an actual thought out opinion that can take the conversation in a new direction or give me a chance to ask them if they’re feeling down and didn’t want to admit it.
I don’t like social norms that distance people from each other. This may be a form of Radical Honesty, but I’m more than ok with that concept. – Síjto.
Like Ramsh said, I only tell strangers that I’m fine. If it’s a close friend, I’ll tell them the truth. But I think more than anything, asking someone how they are is just a formality. It’s different with friends because, well… They’re your friends. =) I try not to lie about my feels with my friend because they truly care. And sometimes I’m really just fine!